House prices will stall in 2017 and there won’t by any significant improvement in affordability for many hard-pressed buyers - but there will be “no Armageddon” according to the National Association of Estate Agents.
The association’s director Mark Hayward says some 43 per cent of member agents expect prices to stay static while around a third - 29 per cent - say this may give at least a modest boost to the chances of first time buyers to get on the ladder.
However, Hayward says that with help for FTBs is currently focused on new builds in the shape of Help To Buy there should now be new emphasis on first timers buying older properties as “‘fixer uppers’ are better value for money in the long term” he suggests.
Hayward says a resolution for the government next year should be to see its long term promises over house building targets converted into actual bricks and mortar in a bid to ensure supply finally nears meeting demand for new homes.
“It would be an understatement to say this year has not gone as expected. However, the property market is mostly still feeling the effects of events which happened last year” he claims.
“The high end London property market is suffering at the hands of increased stamp duty taxes, and while Brexit uncertainty definitely hasn’t helped repair this, it’s not the sole reason why London’s more expensive properties aren’t being snapped up at the same speed they were” he says.
“Next year, we expect it’ll be more of the same; there won’t be a ‘property Armageddon’, but things won’t get much better for first time buyers, and those looking to up or down-size.”
Hayward’s forecast is the latest to suggest there will be relatively little price movement for housing in 2017.
Recent forecasts from Chestertons, Savills, Knight Frank, Cluttons and Countrywide suggest that prices will move little next year, but that transactions may be down as much as 11 per cent according to some.